EMBL Hamburg operates an integrated infrastructure for life science applications using synchrotron radiation. The facilities are situated at the PETRA storage ring, operated by Helmholtz Research Centre DESY in Hamburg-Bahrenfeld. The ring is a dedicated low emittance synchrotron radiation facility with leading optical parameters, named PETRA III.

EMBL is responsible for maintaining and operating three undulator beamlines of which two are dedicated to macromolecular X-ray crystallography and one to small angle X-ray scattering applications of biological material. These beamlines are integrated into advanced facilities for biological sample preparation, characterisation and crystallisation as well as for X-ray data processing and evaluation.

Access to the beamlines is evaluated and prioritised based on scientific criteria. The project is open for specific partnerships with other academic organisations and industrial enterprises. Our fully automated platform for the high-throughput crystallisation of biological macromolecules is also available to the general user community.

The Sample Preparation and Characterization (SPC) facility supports users on the beamline, and in addition offers expertise to check and improve the samples that are submitted to the crystallisation facility and the SAXS beamlines.

Please refer to the relevant pages listed in the menu on the left for more information.


As of October 22nd 2012, the DORIS storage ring was shut down and decommissioning of the beamlines has begun. Users are now invited to apply for beamtime at the EMBL Hamburg beamlines at the PETRA III synchrotron on the DESY campus. Please see the relevant pages in the left hand menu for more information about the facilities and how to apply.